I had the pleasure of attending Innovation Enterprise's conference on web and social analytics, held in San Francisco. Topics ranged from Google's Analytics Advocate discussing in-app metrics to eBay's Behavioral Insights lead providing an in-depth analysis of the conversion funnel of today's largest online marketplace. Despite the overabundance of data scientists in attendance, most of the speakers initiated their topics with one central idea: Define success first!
While a data conference will always have the potential for a full on math geek-out, the conversations focused primarily on the fundamentals of using data to drive business and marketing in today's current economy and why clearly defining goals first matters. Without knowing what you're aiming for, you'll never know if you ultimately achieve it. Without knowing where you want to end up, it's incredibly difficult to know where to start.
I found it very refreshing and reassuring that even in a room full of people who are capable of developing algorithms to make sense of the most convoluted of data sets, the focus was still on where to start… because too often we do not. We jump to the middle, skipping some of the most simple yet critical steps of the process.
And even though we do our best to harp on this same point, day in and day out, I left the conference with a renewed drive to make sure that we always start the process in the right place, and not just when initiating a project or campaign. Every time we feel the need to jump to tactics, execution or instituting a change, it's critical that we stop, take a breath, and make sure that we're starting at step 1.
Aaron Dubois - VP Digital